Reminder: ARLIS UK & Ireland London Conference 2018 proposals deadline: 1 December 2017.

Call for Papers – ARLIS/UK & Ireland London Conference 2018

We are pleased to announce the Art Libraries Society UK & Ireland will hold its annual conference on July 26th and 27th 2018 at the Architectural Association in London. This year we want to broaden the discussion about current issues and practices within arts librarianship. We’re eager to hear about what matters to practitioners and library and archive users and to share ideas for change.  For this reason we have decided not to set a single overarching theme but instead have provided suggested topics and areas of practice that are intended to spark ideas for contributions.

We invite proposals for 25-minute presentations from those engaged with any aspect of arts librarianship or archival practice and from all career stages including students, emerging professionals and non-professionals and those working in related fields. We welcome contributions from scholars, artists and makers, activists and thinkers as well as cross-disciplinary proposals of relevance to the profession.  Potential topics within the context of arts librarianship might include, but are not limited to:

architecture librarianship – archiving the artist — art archives – art ephemera — art library and archive history — artists’ residencies — artists’ publishing — arts publishing — arts research in London — barriers to entry — cataloguing, metadata and discovery — changing roles – classification, taxonomy and knowledge organisation — collaboration — collection development and management — copyright and  intellectual property — critical art librarianship — decolonising the art library — design librarianship — digital humanities — digitisation and managing digital collections — exclusions, absence and erasure from the arts library — exhibitions and curating in/of libraries — fashion and textiles librarianship — feminist approaches to arts librarianship — film and moving image librarianship — gaming the library — image collections –information literacy — innovative practices — instruction and teaching — intersecting with other communities of practice — libraries as artworks — library planning, design and spaces – linked data and the semantic web in the arts — management, leadership and advocacy — materials collections — museum and gallery librarianship — non-institutional art libraries and archives — non-western arts — object-based learning  — open access – outreach — performing the art library — poetry and visual arts publishing, practices and collections –politics in/of the arts library — preservation, conservation, and disasters! — queering the art library — rare books & special collections — research and scholarship in arts librarianship — researchers residencies — resource sharing  — scholarly communication — student  early career panel perspectives — supporting art history — supporting art practice — tech tools, apps and social media — the erosion of subject specialism and what to do about it — theatre and performance librarianship — user perspectives — using metrics — visual literacy — visual resources – zines and zine collections

We are particularly keen to hear proposals that introduce topics not explored at ARLIS UK and Ireland before or are original in their approach to more familiar areas. Proposals for presentations or sessions in non-traditional formats will be considered.

Presentations will be thematically grouped in threes or fours into sessions which will conclude with a moderated discussion with the presenters.

We also seek proposals for two additional types of contribution: workshops and lightning talks.

Workshops must be interactive and are an opportunity to share learning through doing and discussion. Proposals for workshops of up to 45 minutes’ duration will be considered. Workshops should be led by an individual or group and focus on providing new skills, approaches or ideas.  Please include in the proposal a clear plan of how the workshop will be delivered, any equipment that will be required and how this will be provided and what you hope the participants to gain from taking part.

Within our limited capacity to do so, the Conference Working Party is keen to offer feedback and guidance in facilitating a workshop.

Lightning Talks must be no more than 10 minutes and consisting of no more than 10 slides. Topics might include new projects, ideas, research or a case study able to be adequately introduced in a short space of time. The 10-minute time limit will be enforced and will be followed by an opportunity for quick questions.  Lightning talks are a good opportunity for those new to conference presentations such as those presenting dissertation research, and can also be a forum for experimentation and testing ideas.

The Submission Process

All proposals must include:

  • Title of the paper
  • Author(s) of the paper
  • Type of proposal: Presentation, workshop or lightning talk
  • Paper abstract (500 words maximum)
  • Speaker’s name, professional or organisational affiliation (if any) and email address
  • Biographical note on the speaker (100 words maximum)


All proposals must be submitted by email to the Conference Working Party at no later than Friday 1st of December 2017.

The e-mail subject line must read “ARLIS UK & Ireland Conference 2018”.

 We aim to send successful proposals invitations to speak for no later than Friday 19thJanuary 2018. The Conference Working Party may suggest amendments to proposals and are keen to offer guidance and support to potential presenters.

Please note: All expenses, including registration for the conference, travel, accommodations, etc., are the responsibility of the authors/presenters. Fees for the 2018 conference are yet to be set but effort will be made to make an affordable concessionary rate for current students and unwaged individuals.

Submissions will be reviewed by the Conference Working Party according to the following selection criteria:

  • Relevance to arts librarianship now
  • Interest and freshness of perspective
  • Informational content and clarity of argument
  • The provision or enhancement of knowledge, expertise, ideas and inspiration
  • While proposals will be judged on their own merit, considerations of fit with the range of other proposals will help us deliver a varied, coherent and dynamic conference
  • If a paper has previously been delivered elsewhere the version presented at ARLIS UK and Ireland 2018 must significantly differ from the earlier version


Excluded Perspectives Fund

Conversations within a specialist sector can become insular and may not reflect a diversity of voices contributing to the profession.  Numerous factors can lead to exclusions from contributing. In response we have initiated a fund in the hope of going a small distance towards removing some of the barriers to access and participation. If you feel your voice hasn’t been part of the conversation and would like to present at the conference but are unable to do so because of the cost please clearly state on your proposal that you would like to be considered for this fund. We will assess applications in good faith and on the merit of how the proposal contributes to an engaging conference for all. For successful applicants, we will waive the conference fee and offer a nominal honorarium of £50. Due to scarce funds there are a limited number of funded places available, and other expenses, such as travel and accommodation, cannot be met.  Please let us know if you have questions or concerns at